The Catalan Socialists (PSC) have criticised Catalan president Quim Torra’s recent trip to the USA, which was embroiled in controversy after Torra walked out of an official reception over a speech made by the Spanish ambassador.
‘His attitude was not correct. He has behaved more like an activist than a president of the government,’ said PSC secretary of organisation, Salvador Illa, alluding to the tensions that arose during the inaugural event of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC, in which Catalan culture is being showcased.
‘We would like Torra to act thinking in all Catalans,’ Illa added, calling on Torra to ‘make the most of opportunities for dialogue,; highlighting how a new period has begun in Catalan and Spanish politics.
The Spanish ambassador to the US, Pedro Morenés, accused Torra of ‘spreading propaganda’ in his speech made at the event, prompting jeers from the Catalan delegation.
After walking out, Torra said that the rhetoric was ‘insulting’.
His words came after the president’s own speech at the event. ‘We have political prisoners and victims of repression again,’ Torra said, adding that ‘the regression of democratic rights in Spain is intolerable for any democracy.’
Morenés accused Torra of lying, saying how there ‘are no political prisoners’ in Spain, to which the Catalan president took offence, prompting the walkout.
‘It was offensive to me because he called me a liar, and it was offensive to the country because he cast doubt on the existence of political prisoners,’ he said.